People with schizophrenia frequently face trouble differentiating between imagination and the real world. Schizophrenia is a long-term, dangerous, and complex brain condition. It impairs a person’s ability to think clearly, successfully control emotions, make reasonable decisions, comprehend reality, and interact with others. This will further affect their personal and professional life variously.
Many people often mistake schizophrenia for Multiple Personality Disorder (MDP). However, there two are very different from each other. The vast majority of patients with schizophrenia do not have many personalities and are not aggressive, as is the case with MPD.
Several persons with schizophrenia seek relief from their symptoms through drugs and alcohol. They may turn to substance usage to feel good, feel better, or escape unfavorable thought patterns. Those with schizophrenia have a 50% greater prevalence of substance misuse than the overall population.
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Causes of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a disorder that tends to run in families. According to researchers, certain genes acquired from one’s parents may raise the likelihood of getting schizophrenia. Researchers have also shown that patients with schizophrenia are more likely to have unusual genetic alterations that affect brain development.
- Brain development and activity:
Chemical imbalances such as glutamate, serotonin, and dopamine influence how the brain responds to stimuli, which can result in hypersensitivity and hallucinations, both of which are prominent symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Environmental factors:
Environmental variables like health issues that arise during pregnancy, such as illness, viral exposure, or starvation may also have a role in schizophrenia development. Other unidentified psychological factors may also play a role.
Schizophrenia and Addiction
- As a way to cope with anxiety and depression, people with schizophrenia often take drugs as self-medication.
- Even while substance misuse does not cause schizophrenia, someone with genetic risk factors for the condition may develop the disorder after a period of continuous substance abuse.
- For those with genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, environmental cues can often behave as triggers.
- Alcoholism, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs can all exacerbate the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Psychiatric medications cannot cure schizophrenia completely, but they can help people with the disorder function better in society and live healthier lives.
- Detoxification, or the act of eliminating drugs from a person’s system, is usually the initial step in dual diagnosis treatment. A clinical team can better analyze the patient’s schizophrenia symptoms and identify the next steps of treatment once the user’s body is free of the substance.
- Antipsychotic medicines can assist clients to see the world more appropriately and relate to others in more satisfying ways by lessening the seriousness of hallucinatory scenes and preposterous convictions.
- Family therapy is one of the most prevalent types of therapy utilized in dual diagnosis. Family counseling can help to lessen the number and severity of stressors that can lead to schizophrenia or substance dependence.
- Another frequent type of therapy used to treat co-occurring schizophrenia and addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Although there is no surefire strategy to avoid schizophrenia, following the treatment plan can help prevent relapses and symptoms from worsening.